Launching a Mosquito Control Business? 5 Tips to Read from a Pro

You get lots of tips and advice when you’re searching for the perfect business opportunity, but what about after you’ve signed the franchise agreement? When sitting down to think about the tips we’d offer new franchisees launching their Mosquito Joe business, we went to one of our veteran Joes. Erica Burdine of Mosquito Joe of Western Wake in North Carolina was one of our very first franchisees to join the MoJo family in 2013. She is currently in her fourth season and came to mind when we wanted the advice of a well-versed Joe. We asked her what she wish she new before launching Mosquito Joe, and here are her expert tips.

Five Tips to Read Before Launching

From Erica Burdine, Mosquito Joe Franchisee

  1. STUDY… Learn as much as possible about mosquitoes, ticks, fleas etc., AND about the products you use. The customer is always impressed if you know your stuff.
  2. Do your homework regarding competitors. You may think there are only one or two competitors in your area, but often times there are more.  So be prepared.
  3. You will work harder than you ever have. This job is more intense and demanding than I ever realized it would be. It’s important to mentally prepare yourself to eat, breathe and sleep MoJo during the season. The perk? You get a few months off, and I love that about the business.
  4. I never realized how much I would follow the weather!! Get a good weather app on your computer and phone.
  5. Lastly, being in business will stretch you and pull you out of your comfort zone. I never realized how much I would learn. I have overcome some fears and learned the art of compromising to bring balance between Mosquito Joe and the rest of my life.

We know there’s a lot to consider as you launch your business. It’s important to remember that buying into a franchise system gives you the benefit of not having to “reinvent the wheel.” The systems and marketing materials in place make Mosquito Joe turn key, and the support of the corporate team is unmatched. This business gives you a great franchise opportunity in a fast-growing industry, providing a service that benefits your community while making you feel good about your business. And just like Erica mentioned, it comes with flexibility for the off-season.

Thanks, Erica for your expertise and contributing to the blog this week. Keep reading each week for trips and tricks to guide you through franchising and the Mosquito Joe business opportunity. For more information on Mosquito Joe, visit our website and read about how you can become a Mosquito Joe franchise partner in your area.


Why Our Franchisees Love Mosquito Joe

Summertime is a lot of people’s favorite season, but here at Mosquito Joe, we love it for a different reason.  It’s our time to shine in communities across the country as we help make outside fun again for everyone by ridding their yards of mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.  Of course, Mosquito Joe wouldn’t be the company it is today without our amazing franchisees.  This group of dedicated business owners is committed to providing an excellent and much-needed service.  While many of our locations, especially those in the South, are already up and running for the season, we wanted to give our franchisees the chance to reflect on their accomplishments and tell everyone why they love Mosquito Joe.

Kate Gould – Mosquito Joe of NW Houston

“It provides me an opportunity to own my own business and show my children that believing in yourself opens more doorways than you can imagine.”

Eric Hartnagel – Mosquito Joe of St. Charles County

“As a Mosquito Joe owner, I can provide the skill to fight and protect against disease without being a doctor or chemist.”

Kurt Godwin – Mosquito Joe of BaltimoreAnnapolis 

“We love helping families enjoy the outside without getting bit up by annoying bugs.  We also love the fact that we can work hard all summer, then take the winter off and head South!”

Mosquito Joe of Baltimore-Annapolis
Mosquito Joe of Baltimore-Annapolis

Rhonda Cheatham – Mosquito Joe of Mansfield

“I love the Mosquito Joe community. It’s like a great big family! The support we receive from Corporate and our fellow franchisees is amazing!”

Dan Nicastro – Mosquito Joe of Suburban Cleveland

“I am going to be able to provide a new service to Suburban Cleveland to help Clevelanders enjoy their properties more than they ever have. Being my own boss isn’t bad either.”

Sidney & Ruth Turkington – Mosquito Joe of Kalamazoo

“I love the support from Corporate!  They are always ready and willing to help with a happy spirit!”

Robert and Christine Rummells – Mosquito Joe of West Richmond and Mosquito Joe of the Peninsula

“Our favorite thing about being a Mosquito Joe franchisee is being involved with a young franchise that is growing fast and provides a service that has a benefit to the community. Working hard for 7 months out of the year, and then taking off 5 to recuperate to do what ever we choose is a big plus.  OUR TIME is a valuable commodity.  Work, Travel, Play hard in the off season.”

Mosquito Joe of West Richmond and Mosquito Joe of the Peninsula
Mosquito Joe of West Richmond and Mosquito Joe of the Peninsula

Tim Lanai – Mosquito Joe of SW Nashville

“Mosquito Joe provides a service that many households need but don’t know is available. It appeared to me to be a market that would have tremendous growth potential and after 15 months in the business, I am more convinced of that then when I purchased the franchise.”

James Gibson – Mosquito Joe of Greater Houston

“We are the magicians that make the magic happen; so that families are able to create memories that will last a lifetime.”

Beth Selhourst – Mosquito Joe of East Cincinnati

“Mosquito Joe allows me to work at home with my kids.  Collecting payment at the end of a shift is nice too.”

Chris Cookman – Mosquito Joe of MaconSouth Atlanta 

“I like when my customers are excited to see us because we add value to their lives.”

Mosquito Joe of Macon-South Atlanta
Mosquito Joe of Macon-South Atlanta

Jack Sparks – Mosquito Joe of North Atlanta

“Allowing children, such as my two year old daughter (who is allergic to mosquito bites), to enjoy being outside without having to come back in with welts of mosquito bites on them.”

George Brown – Mosquito Joe of Pearland

“I have heightened my instincts hunting these creatures. I believe I can think like a mosquito, and I have learned their nature and habits. I usually find their hideout and bombs away!!!”

Jennifer Lewis – Mosquito Joe of SE Michigan

“I love the customers – you get to see what they are passionate about.  I also love the team environment.  It’s great being able to talk to other franchisees and learn their best practices.”

Mosquito Joe of SE Michigan
Mosquito Joe of SE Michigan

Gail Yongue – Mosquito Joe of Gulf Coast Alabama

“We get to positively impact our customers so they can enjoy the outdoors; our employees by guiding and encouraging them to strive to be better and grow; and our community through support, education, sponsorships, and overall involvement.”

Sean & Karla Bloom – Mosquito Joe of South Dade

“We love the fact that we are getting to teach our children how to build a business and having them WANT to work alongside us as much as they can.”

Eric Strumpf – Mosquito Joe of Fort Collins – Greeley

“I started as a reluctant/skeptical customer who wasn’t looking for another bill but wanted to keep my wife happy.  I quickly became completely sold on the service because it was so effective…there was no going back.  And over the past five years it occurred to me that the combination of an awesome service with incredible support, residual income, and the freedom of being self-employed was too good to pass up.  So here I am, very thankful to be part of the family and very excited to show what we can do in Colorado!


Tips on How to Handle Hiring and Employee Turnover

The mind of a small business owner can be a crowded and chaotic place.  Inventory, customer service, marketing ideas, revenue, repairs, and maintenance are just a handful of thoughts flying around at any given time.  Hopefully the business grows to a point to necessitate additional employees.  But with more staff comes more potential problems.  Interviewing and hiring can be a time-consuming process, not to mention the training needed to bring each person up to speed on internal workings of the business.  Disciplinary scenarios are inevitable, requiring an experienced and confident manager to resolve the issue.

The last point is obviously the most unpleasant part of hiring a staff.  New business owners may not have any experience with interpersonal communication and office management.  As usual, Mosquito Joe is here to help!  We reached out to some of our experienced franchisees to ask them how they handle hiring and employee turnover.  Much of the advice is specifically about Mosquito Joe technicians, but can easily apply to regular office staff as well.

Kurt Godwin – Owner of Mosquito Joe of Baltimore-Annapolis

Mosquito Joe of Baltimore-Annapolis“It’s [managing a staff] probably the hardest part about owning a Mosquito Joe franchise. The best advice I can give is to always treat the technicians the way you would want to be treated. One thing we’ve tried to do to avoid turnover is to tell our technicians about future possibilities and show them opportunity for growth. Always letting the good employees know how much you appreciate their hard work is also important. We also always forward good reviews from customers onto them, so they can see what a good job they’ve done.

Lastly, often it’s just a gut feeling when you interview a guy on whether he’ll work out or not. But we also put our policies and procedures in writing and have each technician sign it so they know what’s expected.”

 Kate Kimpton – Owner of Mosquito Joe of NW Houston

“I think employee retention comes from several factors:

  1. Mosquito Joe of NW HoustonFind people interested in growing with you. Dangle that carrot in front of new employees to be lead technician once the business is larger. Make them see the bigger picture and catch some of your excitement.
  2. Keep them involved in the business. For us, the technician is the most important part of the business. They are the ones who see the customers every day, and they need to be great. If we can’t keep the customers, we won’t be successful. We reward them for awesome work with competitive compensation and little things like having an annual Christmas party.
  3. Ask their opinions and thoughts on aspects of the business.  Then use them!
  4. We will be involving them in the interview process for new technicians this coming season. They have received raises and will be in charge of training the new guys. I trust them, and I believe they will do a better job of picking the best guy for the job.”

Denise Morris – Director of Local Operations for Mosquito Joe of Virginia Beach-Norfolk

Mosquito Joe of Virginia Beach-Norfolk

“In order to avoid employee/technician turnover, you first have to know what you’re looking for before hiring. I always do face-to-face interviews because I’m looking for someone who can communicate effectively and has the ability to ask questions as well as answer them. The right person has to display a willingness to learn, take direction from others that may be younger, be self motivated, and able to show passion about something during the interview.

Once hired, I avoid employee turnover by setting expectations, providing a lot of training, building a team environment, and showing respect for each person. I do my best to get to know the person and what is important to them.

They are the face and the voice of this company. With that in mind, always over-hire, giving yourself the flexibility to be prepared in case you do lose an employee.”

If you’re thinking about starting a business or buying a franchise, don’t let this aspect of entrepreneurship scare you!  Working with good people is what makes business ownership so much fun.  Visit the Mosquito Joe franchise information page to learn how you can become part of the best team in the franchise business.